Scotch whisky sales have remained static in the 1st 6 months of 2012 largely due the economic crises in the Eurozone. The Scotch Whisky Association said the new report stated exports of Scotch whisky stood at £1.8bn which is the same figure as 2011. Sales to the USA have grown despite the economic problems faced there and sales to Russia, India and Venezuela have soared.
The only good news in the Eurozone came from Germany where whisky exports were up 4% on 2011 however overall the exports of scotch whisky to the Eurozone were down a whopping 24%. This massive drop is most pronounced in France and Spain which are the 2nd and 5th largest whisky importers in the world. The Spanish economic problems are well documented but what about the French the 2nd largest importer of whisky?
The drop in the Eurozone has been further impacted by protectionist measures by the French government has seen whisky duty (and all spirit duty) in France increase taking it over 40%. Conveniently the French have not increased wine duty. We are all Europeans now, what happened to the ‘Auld Alliance’? In other protectionist measures around Europe the Swedish government monopoly on alcohol sales ‘Systembolaget’ has started delivering to people’s doors after Swedes were increasingly buying whisky online from European based online whisky retailers such as the Scottish Whisky Store. During hard times are we really all Europeans in it together?